Microsoft's responce to article

Lee Anne Phillips leeanne at
Sun Jan 16 21:47:15 GMT 2000

With all respect, I think the lack of resources are the fault of the W3C 
membership policies, which seem designed to strongly discourage individuals 
and small organizations and businesses from participating in the process. 
US$5000 for an Affiliate Membership is beyond the reach of most of us and 
of many small businesses since that's in addition to the value of the time 
spent on the process itself.

Whether this policy is because the big players want negotiations to go on 
in secret (and secrecy is inherent in the W3C structure so it can't be an 
accident) or because W3C just can't be bothered with the "little people" is 
a matter of speculation.

What's certainly true is that there is a vast pool of talent available, 
many of whom are passionately interested in the development of XML and 
XML-related standards and might well have more time to spend than the human 
resources on sometimes grudging lend-lease from major corporations. Witness 
this and other lists which represent a collective effort of major 
proportions and a tremendous pool of knowledge and skills.

While we all appreciate the enormous efforts of the organizational 
participants in the W3C process, who've done yeoman service trying to 
juggle activities which might directly advance their careers at their 
organizational home with the community responsibilities of the standards 
process, there just might be a better and more open way.

The Internet standards process started in the RFC methodology, which, 
though sometimes awkward, chaotic, and slow, allowed rapid innovation and 
standardization when warranted and was fully public, ensuring participation 
by the *real* stakeholders in the process, the community served, rather 
than being dominated by the vendors who want to sell products to them.

In one way or another, we're the ones who pay for all this work. Surely a 
way could be found to ensure that we know what the heck is going on. Even 
better, we could help in the initial stages rather than waiting in front of 
the curtain until a team of magicians come out and present us with whatever 
they think we want and are then either cheered or booed off the stage.

Lee Anne

At Saturday 1/15/00 01:42 PM -0800, Tim Bray wrote:

>Mea culpa, more than anyone else.  But it's a symptom of the W3C's
>#1 problem, lack of resources.  I've been busy helping get XLink done.

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